/News 17.03.21


Ausfilm and its membership pay tribute to Mr Jeff M. Hayes who leaves a big legacy and was instrumental in many careers within Australia’s screen industry from the 80’s into the early 2000s.

Working with his business partner Greg Coote and Darryl Sheen at Coote/Hayes Productions, they started filming projects in Queensland back in 1990 with ‘Earth Force’ filmed at Village Roadshow Studios.

It was Australian Bruce Gordon, head of Paramount International at the time, that put Australia on Jeff’s radar. Jeff’s history with Australia began in 1988 when was Executive Vice President of Paramount Television. He was also a producer with a three-year production deal at Paramount. He then worked with Warner Bros. on a number of projects before joining Village Roadshow Pictures.

At the time Hayes joined Village, Greg Coote was President of Village Roadshow Pictures and eventually, he and Jeff bought out the TV division of Village Roadshow. Over seven years, under Cootes/Hayes Productions, Jeff and Greg produced numerous long-form projects and series.

“Jeff was a pioneer for the Queensland film industry. His endeavours put Queensland on the map for film production, and encouraged crew to move to Queensland of which many of them are still working in the industry today. His laugh was the most infectious laugh you could hear.  He could be five offices away and his laugh would still be heard!”

Lynne Benzie, President, Village Roadshow Studios

After Jeff and Greg parted ways, Jeff formed Hay Pop Productions in Australia with producer Brett Popplewell and Bluewater Productions in the US. Jeff has been responsible for over 400 hours of TV, totalling more than $800 million in production.

Jeff created an endless stream of ‘Movie of the Weeks’ as they were know back then, as well as TV series Thorn Birds, Flipper, Time Trax, Salem’s Lot, Evil Never Dies, BeastMaster, Starter Wife and Nightmares & Dreamscapes: From the Stories of Stephen King.

Mr Hayes will be missed by all those who worked with him.